Tagged: Justin Smoak

King Felix Dethroned, Emperor Ichiro and the Fish Market

Holy Felix the Cat. Let’s hope he’s got 9 lives because he used one up today. 5IP, 8R, 7ER, 10H. And that’s against the White Sox. Imagine what will happen when he has to face a big league team. I kid. And Felix Hernandez will be just fine. Or you could always trade him to the D’Backs. I’m sure Kevin Towers is willing to give you Stephen Drew. He might even throw in Lyle Overbay.

In fact, why don’t the M’s send Ichiro and Montero over, too. Then the D’Backs would have 2 catchers named Montero. Imagine Ichiro in left, CY in center and J-Up in right. Anyway, back to reality.

So Hernandez will be fine. Ichrio is settling nicely into the 3 spot in the batting order, a move I really like. He’s hitting .400 in Spring ball, with 2 HR and 8 RBI. In fact, if you look at the Mariners likely Opening Day starting lineup (in Japan), there is only one glaring weakness. Chone Figgins. Or no leadoff hitter. Same problem.

After that, Ackley is solid, Ichiro will have a bounce back year, Smoak, Montero, Carp are all studs, Olivio has some pop, and Saunders is playing really well. Brendan Ryan… OK, so they have 2 holes, #1 and #9.

I also just realized the AL West is the fishing division. Well, it is the West Coast so that makes sense. We’ve got Mike Trout and Mike Carp. Hey whaddya’ know… they are both Mike’s too. They should open their own business. Mike’s Carp & Trout, Fishing Baseballs, Inc. Trademark it now, boys. Seattle’s Fish Market could have some competition. Or not. Either way.


Break up the Mariners


Montero's future so bright, gotta wear shades.

All that hype. All that talk. Pujols. CJ Wilson. Yu Darvish. Angels. Rangers. Even the Athletics. Manny. Cespedes.

And here we sit. The Seattle Mariners have the best record in all of the Cactus League. They are now 6-1, plus 4-0 on the road. Not that it means much in Spring Training. Not that any of those wins mean a damn thing in Spring Training. Still with Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley, the M’s have some serious talent to build around. Each of them are playing extremely well this Spring. Throw in “The Condor”, aka Michael Saunders, and Carlos Peguero and Seattle looks a little sunnier. Although at 6’5″ 245 lbs, Peguero would blot out the sun should he make it to SafeCo Field. Something tells me the Mariners would have no qualms about playing in the shade if he continues to tear the cover off the baseball.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had a Ryan Braun sighting. Although with the glare coming off his smile lately, I’m not sure it was him.

No, R-Breezy wasn’t holding another press conference with his hair perfectly quaffed. He actually decided to work today and in the process lost a baseball with a 2-run HR. Good for him. I’m sure he’s clean. And by that I mean, showered after the game today. Maybe he even used a little Axe body spray while he was at it.


Cactus League Spring Training Preview: Seattle Mariners

Yes, believe it or not, it is that time of the year again. As we hurry up and wait for the Super Bowl to start, we can either turn our sports attention to the NBA, NHL or MLB. Since I don’t follow hockey too closely and the Suns are one more old player away from the All-Time Retirement team, we’ll choose Major League Baseball and my all time favorite activity, Spring Training.

Pitchers and catchers report for all Major League ball clubs the 18th-22nd of February. With essentially one month left to go, I’ll preview the entire American League West and National League West just in time for the teams to head to camp. Each Tuesday and Thursday for the next four weeks will be dedicated to Spring Training Baseball. Tuesdays will be the AL West, Thursdays will be the NL West.

Let’s get started.

Seattle Mariners Safeco Field

At least the Mariners have a nice field.

Seattle Mariners

The team that finished with the 3rd worst record in baseball hopes it can do better than it’s 95 loss season a year ago. Sadly, I am not convinced that it can. The Mariners just completed a trade for the top catching prospect in all of baseball, but to get Jesus Montero from the Yankees, they had to give up their lone bright spot from a season ago in Michael Pineda.

Yes, the M’s have some serious pitching depth and prospects in Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Jose Campos and Danny Hultzen, but you just gave up on someone who could be the ace of your staff should something happen to King Felix Hernandez. I know, that’s a lot of coulds and shoulds. That’s what happens when you trade a possible ace for a potential stud catcher.

The line up is three words. Tear. Uh. Bull. Or Tear A Bull. Or Terrible. All different paths to the same result. Probably a lot like my predictions for this team. I could predict the offense struggles (which it will). I could predict the pitching won’t hold up (which it won’t). Or I could just say the M’s will lose at least 90 games like last year. Justin Smoak, Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley are about the only things capable of scoring or driving in a run. Not good.

At least Ken Griffey, Jr is back. Although as a special consultant, it sounds unlikely he’ll be making any diving catches in center field or driving one deep onto the train tracks at Safeco.

Up next on Thursday in our Cactus League Spring Training Preview, Josh Byrnes and the San Diego Padres.

*This is a reblog of one of my current posts from WestSide Culture. Original can be found at http://westsideculture.com/sports